Today’s news:

Corona rape suspect faces drug charge: DA

A Corona man charged with abducting a woman from in front of a Manhattan nightclub, then raping and robbing her was briefly released Monday before being arrested in the courtroom on pre-existing drug charges, the Mahattan district attorney's office said.

Harvey Contento, 40, was arrested on July 22 on the drug possession charges, the DA's office said. He was then charged with rape, criminal sexual act, kidnapping and robbery in the Sept. 30, 2007 incident, according to a criminal complaint filed by the DA's office. However, the rape case was suspended pending the results of DNA tests, the DA's office said.

Contento's next court date for the rape case is Nov. 18, the DA's office said. The maximum sentence for rape is 25 years in prison, the DA's office said.

Contento was arraigned Monday on suspicion of criminal possession of a controlled substance, the DA's office said. Bail was set at $30,000.

The rape occurred during the early morning hours of Sept. 30, authorities said. A woman was standing outside a club at Chrystie and Stanton streets when Contento allegedly grabbed her arm and forced her into his livery cab, locked the doors and began to drive away, the DA's office said.

As he drove, Contento grabbed the victim's cell phone and threw it out the window before driving over a bridge and parking behind a warehouse, the DA's office said. It was there that Contento allegedly ran around the car, pushed the victim into the backseat and raped her, the DA's office said.

Afterward, Contento drove the woman to an ATM where he is suspected of demanding that she withdraw money for him, the DA's office said.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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